The Spanish Health Reform proposed in April and approved by parliament only by the Popular Party – who holds an absolute majority –excludes adult undocumented migrants from public healthcare. As of September this year, only emergency and maternity care will be accessible. Médicos del Mundo Spain, with Amnesty and Red Acoge, remind regional governments about their obligation to offer access to healthcare as it is their competencies.
Resistance against this reform is growing every day. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights strongly urged the Spanish state in its Concluding observations last May not to undertake any regressive steps in social rights, particularly in stopping access to health care for all residents, whatever their legal status.
Referring to the framework of the right to health, Amnesty International, Médicos del Mundo and Red Acoge recalled the 17 regional governments of Spain to fulfill their obligations. These three organizations had launched an online campaign to gather signatures for the right to healthcare for all. Nearly 60.000 signatures were handed over to the 17 governmental headquarters in Spain. [http://www.medicosdelmundo.org/inde...]
Marta Mendiola, spokesperson for Amnesty International, expressed her concern about regressive policies in the wake of austerity measures. Álvaro Gonzalez, President of Médicos del mundo, stressed the immediate health impact the law will generate when it will come into effect in September. “Besides being unjust, this law is both ineffective and dangerous,” he added. “The new law will flood emergency care and will not generate cost saving. It is irresponsible, from a public health perspective, to exclude a part of the resident population from sanitary assistance,” he insisted. Mónica García, from Red Acoge, a support group to migrants, stressed her irritation about a Government identifying one of the most vulnerable groups as target for cost sharing and questioned if the law would reinforce underlying racist trends in society.
This action adds to a building stream of criticism and resistance against the health reform. See the recent declarations of The Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SEMFYC) [http://www.semfyc.es/es/noticias/de...] and a web-based call for action among the Spanish grass root movement of the Indignados) [http://yosisanidaduniversal.net/por...]